Chinese-American owner Yeh Ching brings the flavors she picked up while living in Malaysia to Canteen 82, teaming with her Hong Kong–born partner, Alan Lee, to further diversify the restaurant’s eclectic menu of Asian fusion fare. Dim sum influences abound, with house-made Shanghai soup dumplings served by the dozen, but small plates aren’t everything at Canteen 82, where robust entrees include a traditional Malaysian slow-cooked beef dish touted in a 2010 review by the New York Times. An espresso machine conjures velvety lattes to chase Malaysian-style curry puffs or dishes from a vegetarian menu to sate herbivorous patrons and their pet brontosauruses.
Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play & Music didn't begin in a business meeting—it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play & Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children’s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.
Amber’s nimble-fingered sushi chefs capture the flavors of the sea with high-quality sushi and artisanal Asian cuisine, served amid wavy-backed booths and carefully crafted stonework. The specialty Upper East Side roll allows lobster and avocado to shimmy along a garland of kiwi and mango sauce, and the Golden Dragon roll bestows good fortune on taste buds with spicy, crunchy salmon, avocado, and fresh mango. Chefs also serve up cylindrical classics including a California roll, a crunchy and spicy salmon roll, and a veggie-friendly avocado roll. A full bar offers innovative drinks, specialty cocktails, sake, beer, and wine by the glass, and outdoor seating enlivens the restaurant on sunny, breezy, or money-raining evenings.
A stone kirin, face frozen in a growl, greets patrons in the dining room at Fusha West, where a menu packed with inventive sushi rolls tops hardwood tables. Teeth begin by chiseling fresh big-eye tuna drizzled with wasabi aioli into silhouettes of Alfred Hitchcock or munching into a daily-changing selection of carpaccio served with yuzu dressing. Chopsticks joust to win the honor of clamping Fusha West's classic rolls, which wrap rice tightly around spicy tuna or Pacific spicy snow crab. Special rolls showcase the sushi chef's imaginations with creations such as the king black dragon, where Alaskan king crab and cucumber demand fealty from taste buds in a regal cloak of freshwater eel and avocado.
Having just celebrated their grand opening, the chefs at Amcook Fusion Cuisine, a new sushi restaurant, fill their specialty sushi rolls with fresh ingredients such as spicy snow crab, avocado, and sweet mango. In addition to sushi the chefs feature Thai style green curries made with coconut milk and fresh basil and Japanese style yaki soba dishes of stir fried noodles with shrimp, onions, and mushrooms. Amcook Fusion Cuisine also offers an extensive lunch menu with daily specials and a traditional family dinner for Chinese New Year.
Chefs at Ichiro Japanese Restaurant gently close scrolls of seaweed and rice around fresh slices of white tuna, soft-shell crab, and spicy salmon behind a sushi bar. Steam jets up like ghostly flowers from hibachi grills laden with scallops, lobster, and chicken, and spatulas clatter across the hot surfaces with the metallic sound of a knight in shining armor checking for his car keys. The aroma of udon noodles with broth and sounds of sake glasses clicking together travel throughout the restaurant.
Oriental Cafe's chefs toss flavors from all over Asia into pans to produce Chinese-style stir-fries and Japanese tempura-fried eats wrapped in rice and seaweed. They decorate bowls of edamame with careful portions of salt to awaken sleeping appetites for hearty sushi rolls bursting with tuna, salmon, eel, and yellowtail or platefuls of sweet-and-savory tangerine beef. Diners nestle up to intimate hardwood tabletops as the wait staff bustles back and forth from the sushi bar, bathed in the warm light reflecting off the pale-pink walls.